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Westport Man Gives New Sport a Tri

WESTPORT, Conn. — Amadeo Rodriguez will compete in his first triathlon in Sunday's TargeTraining Sherwood Island Sprint. Even he is not certain what to expect.

"The big unknown for me is the swim,'' said Rodriguez, a 40-year-old Westport resident. "I'm not going to sink. But at the same time, I don't know what to expect once that's over. I feel pretty confident that I'll finish the race. If I do it and come out OK, hopefully I'll do more."

The first-year race consists of a half-mile swim, a 13-mile bike ride and a 3.1-mile run. It begins at 6:30 a.m., and a portion of the proceeds will go to the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center's Pediatrics Department.

Rodriguez played soccer in his native Spain and throughout college. He continued in a recreational league and also plays squash. "I took up biking and found out my knees didn't hurt, my back didn't hurt,'' Rodriguez said.

His wife bought him a road bike last year at TargetTraining, and it got him thinking about triathlons. "I felt like it was the next step,'' he said. "This one seemed liked a good venue for me."

Running will be the most challenging discipline for Rodriguez. "In training, I've been doing OK on the run,'' he said. "It's hard for me. I don't enjoy it. I've been going to TargeTraining for group lessons and doing track workouts, and it's definitely working. It seems like in running you never get a break. You're working all the time. That's why I don't enjoy it as much."

The Sherwood Island triathlon is the newest event in a rapidly growing recreational sport. Triathlons are held in nearly every Fairfield County coastal community during the summer, and they frequently sell out. Rodriguez sees the appeal.

"For me, it's the cross training, and you get to work at different disciplines, which keeps things fresh,'' Rodriguez said. "That's the attraction. At the same time, it's an endurance event, and it's a good way to get in shape."

While he was playing soccer, Rodriguez says he never could have envisioned doing a triathlon. "I was doing the Weekend Warrior thing, but I never thought I'd put the three together,'' he said. "If I had to train by myself, I don't think I'd ever have thought of doing a triathlon."

Are you competing in Sunday's triathlon? Are you ready? Start the discussion below!

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